We look back at the car that started the whole Distinctive Series debacle – was it really ten years ago?
“This is twice as much as what we aimed for, the DS line is a huge success,” Citroën’s Frederic Banzet told Automotive News in 2011. And for a time at least, it did appear as though Groupe PSA had pulled off a marketing masterstroke, with DS3 sales at one point accounting for a quarter of the volume for the entire C3 range.
It wasn’t as if the DS3 was necessarily a bad idea. The market for small upmarket B-segment hatchbacks had been dominated by BMW’s MINI brand and certainly, there was a decent slice of that market to be had – with the right product. PSA’s difficulty was twofold: the lack of a competitive platform and more fundamentally its fundamental neglect of the Citroën name, which had been allowed, if not actively shoehorned into a low-transaction price, value-led cul-de-sac. Continue reading “Flirting With Distinction”
It doesn’t happen all that often, but the latest confection from DS Automobiles has your correspondent utterly confounded.
I don’t know. I genuinely don’t. What does one say nowadays, when every recent new car announcement feels like another assault? Does there come a point when through exhaustion or simple attrition, one is forced to simply Continue reading “Lost For Words”
With the 2005 C-Airplay, Citroën aimed to re-introduce the notion of frivolity to the urban runabout. It never came to pass, but it just might have inspired something which did.
The problem with writing about cars is the often futile task of establishing and then sifting information with any degree of accuracy. I mention this as preface and by way of cowardly disclaimer. Whether this piece contains anything of merit, or is merely speculative fluff with which to Continue reading “Fun and Games for Sunday”
Oddly, it all really started going wrong once PSA decided to separate brand-DS from its Citroën parent. Since then, the descent has been rapid, bruising and ignominious. Despite all three existing DS models receiving expensive facelifts incorporating a new corporate nose, sales appear to have have fallen off a cliff. Over the period from January to May of 2017 alone, sales of the entry level (and top-selling) DS3 fell 35.3% to 12,136. Those of the C-segment DS4 contracted 33.4% to 5675 cars, while those of the current range topping DS5 plummeted 42.8% to 2730 units. Continue reading “Away With the Fairies”
A lot can happen in two years, and since we’re examining the fortunes of PSA’s Distinctive Series, it might be useful to revisit this piece from Driven to Write’s early days to see what we thought then.
Is Citroën’s ‘Distinctive Series’ the final frontier for the legendary French automaker? [First published 16 January 2014].
Lately, France’s PSA group became the automotive Blanche DuBois – lurching with mounting desperation from one apparent suitor to another following the collapse of their core market. Yet amidst the gloom, a hitherto unimaginable success story seems to have unfolded, involving the marque most analysts had written off as beyond saving. Could Citroën, PSA’s trouble child since 1976, belatedly, and against all odds, find itself at the forefront of a marketing coup?
Although I’ve never been a club sort of person, for various reasons I’ve been an on-off member of the British “Citroën Car Club” for many years. It’s a long-established and still apparently healthy club, with a well-produced magazine. When I first received ‘The Citroënian’ they were coming to terms with the aftermath of the Peugeot takeover and were introducing a column for the newly released Visa, a car not without merits and character but, like the stop gap LN/A before it, based on the Peugeot 104.